The Difference Between Procrastination and Laziness

Welcome to Day 2 of the Procrastination to Progress Challenge.

I have to apologize for the lack of images tonight. I planned to finish this post this morning (the irony), but had to take my dad to the ER. They finally admitted him at 6, after I had to leave him with mom so I could get to my brother’s house to fulfill my commitment to spend time with my niece and nephew while they headed out. As such, I am sitting here at their house realizing that because of the emergency, despite having this written for weeks, I will be unable to post it with the graphics because I held off on finishing them so I could sleep on time last night. Without any additional excuses, here is to today’s post.

When it comes to getting stuff done, there are typically three types of people:

  1. People who take action quickly.
  2. People who wait until the last minute.
  3. People who put in minimal effort.

Let’s talk about them and see which type we are.

People who Take Action Quickly are Proactive

Proactive people enjoy working through their to-do lists and knocking things off with an intensity that can make you dizzy. They feel in their comfort zone when they have a long list of crossed off items.

Proactive people see the value of getting things done as quickly as possible. Even things they don’t enjoy and things that scare them. For these folks, taking action keeps them from feeling worried or anxious about the future.

People who Wait Until the Last Minute are Procrastinators

Procrastinators prefer to put things off until they are under a serious time crunch. Some even feel they work better with the added pressure of less time. These are the folks who put things on their to-do lists (if they have them) such as “wake up”, “eat”, and “Make To-List” because it ensures they accomplish something in a day! (This is me when it comes to anything for myself.)

Procrastinators tend to avoid tasks, even ones they want to do, for a variety of reasons. While proactive people eliminate worry by taking care of tasks quickly, procrastinators tend to cause themselves worry because they are fully aware that they are not taking action and putting things off.

People who Put in Minimal Effort Tend to be Lazy.

Laziness is characterized by a lack of concern or interest is a task. Lazy people tend to invest very little time or effort into tasks and activities and don’t feel badly about it. Lazy people tend to defend their positions and use blame to deflect accountability.

Some Differences Between Procrastination and Laziness

Many people think procrastination and laziness are the same thing. They aren’t. It at all. A procrastinator does a great job but does it last minute. A lazy person does the bare minimum and may do it at any point.

Lazy people often procrastinate, but they don’t feel guilt, shame, or anxiety when they do. This is a big differentiation. While truly lazy people do procrastinate, chronic procrastinators aren’t always truly lazy.

Why is this true?

Laziness is focused on doing the least amount possible or avoiding tasks altogether. Procrastination is focused on putting things off and then exerting massive amounts of energy trying to achieve a good outcome.

Laziness is more about getting out of doing something while procrastination often includes overthinking about a task which leads to analysis paralysis. The desire to do more is actually driving putting the task off.

If you’ve struggled with procrastination, you may have felt lazy but if you also felt guilty for not taking action sooner, stressed because things aren’t getting done, and overwhelmed because you know you have tasks that need attention, you are not being lazy.    


Looking at this explanation, which category do you fall into?

I’m a procrastinator currently. But it’s time to change this truth to “I am a proactive person.”

One Comment on “The Difference Between Procrastination and Laziness

  1. Pingback: Procrastination to Progress Challenge: Weekly Check In – Shell Vera

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